More than 10 lakh Mahavitaran power consumers in Kanjur Marg, Bhandup, Mulund, Thane and Navi Mumbai, who use 300 units or less per month, have been spared a tariff hike. Overall, Mahavitaran — a state-owned distribution firm — has 15 lakh consumers in this belt.
Across the state, 1.2 crore residential consumers will benefit from this status quo on rates ordered by the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) on Thursday.
MERC, however, approved an average hike of three per cent on other consumers.
Residences that consume 301 to 500 units per month — homes with appliances such as ovens and air-conditioners — will pay 4.69 per cent more, while those that consume more than 500 units will pay 4.02 per cent more.
The new tariff will be effective from September 1.
Mahavitaran, with 1.71 crore consumers across Maharashtra, supplies power to the eastern belt of the city from Vikhroli onwards.
Mahavitaran officials said they would comment only after the studying the order. However, a company source requesting anonymity said that since MERC has reduced the power purchase budget, power cuts would get more frequent. Currently, the state faces 2.45 hours to 6.30 hours of power cuts in urban areas, and 10 hours to 12 hours in rural areas.
Hospitals, educational institutes and group housing societies will not pay more. Industry and commercial consumers will have to pay 1.93 per cent to 10.88 per cent extra every month. Advertisers will pay 21.95 per cent more, while local self-governments will pay 5.11 per cent to 6.16 per cent extra for street lighting.
MERC secretary KN Khawrey said Mahavitaran asked for a 14 per cent hike, “but we approved much less because it spent less on buying power and on transmission”.
Khawrey said Mahavitaran could reduce tariffs further if its major supplier, the state-owned Mahagenco, got more efficient. “Mahavitran cannot buy more power from the Centre, though it’s the cheapest source, because of the quota cap. When Mahagenco supply falls, Mahavitaran is forced to buy power from expensive sources,” said Khawrey.